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Rosario, Braves walk-off vs. Dodgers to take 2-0 lead in NLCS

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Rosario, Braves walk-off vs. Dodgers to take 2-0 lead in NLCS
Dansby Swanson celebrates after scoring the winning run on a single by Eddie Rosario in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park in Atlanta. Atlanta won 5-4 and leads the series 2-0. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Atlanta Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario hit a single off the glove of shortstop Corey Seager to drive in Dansby Swanson and give the Braves a dramatic walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, and a 2-0 series lead, on Sunday night.

Rosario went 4 for 5 with a run scored, in addition to his RBI, in the 5-4 victory at Truist Park in Atlanta. Game 3 shifts to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

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"I'm really happy that the team and manager put their confidence in me to put me in the leadoff spot," Rosario told MLB Network. "I'm really happy I was able to come through."

The Dodgers totaled just four hits and left 20 runners on base in Sunday's loss. The Braves bullpen allowed one hit and two runs over the final six innings. Braves right- fielder Joc Pederson also homered off Dodgers ace Max Scherzer.

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"I think when we are all pulling on the same string, special things happen," Pederson told reporters. "You can see we are doing that right now.

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"There is not [just] one person that has the pressure on their shoulders that they have to get the job done. It's a new person every day. That's what makes it special."

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts singled off Braves starter Ian Anderson in the first at-bat of Game 2. Seager hit Anderson's next pitch, an 81-mph curveball, to right field for a 401-foot, two-run homer.

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The Dodgers held the 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth. Scherzer forced second baseman Ozzie Albies to fly out in the first at-bat of the half-inning. He issued a walk to Braves third baseman Austin Riley in his next exchange, which brought Pederson to the plate.

Scherzer missed the strike zone with his first offering to the Braves outfielder. Pederson pummeled the ace's 1-0 pitch, a 76.5-mph curveball, for a game-tying, two-run homer to right field. The 454-foot blast traveled 112 mph off Pederson's bat, according to Statcast.

The game stayed tied until Dodgers third baseman Chris Taylor drove in Betts and catcher Will Smith with a two-run double in the top of the seventh.

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The Braves tied the score again in the bottom of the eighth. Rosario started the rally with a leadoff single off Dodgers relief pitcher Julio Urias. Urias forced Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to fly out in the next exchange.

Albies drove in Rosario with an RBI single to right field in the third at-bat of the half-inning. Riley hit Urias' next pitch to center field for a game-tying RBI double.

Braves relief pitcher Will Smith retired the Dodgers in order in the top of the ninth. Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud singled to lead off the bottom of the inning.

Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol retired Swanson and outfielder Guillermo Heredia in his next two exchanges. Fellow relief pitcher Kenley Jansen replaced Graterol for the next at-bat against Rosario.

The Braves left-fielder smacked the next pitch back up the middle, just to the right of the pitcher's mound. The ball cruised by second base and found Seager as he went down on his right knee to field the hit.

The ball then careened off the infielder's glove and bounced into center field. Swanson sprinted off second base, made the turn around third and met a mob of Braves teammates at home.

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"We knew coming in that they are very aggressive swinging the bats, especially early in the count," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters.

"You really gotta make a quality pitch that first pitch. They are aggressive and can catch the baseball, so nothing has really surprised us."

Seager went 1 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored in the loss. Scherzer allowed four hits and two runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Anderson allowed three hits and two runs and issued three walks and two strikeouts in three innings.

Game 3 of the NLCS is at 5:08 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Braves are expected to start Charlie Morton. The Dodgers are expected to start fellow right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler.

"We [the Braves] were up on them 2-0 last year," Riley said of the 2020 NLCS, which the Dodgers won. "It's one of those things where you can't stop now, you gotta continue to apply the pressure, come out every day and get after it.

"I'm looking forward to the next three games."

The winner of the NLCS meets the Houston Astros or Boston Red Sox next week in the World Series. The ALCS is tied 1-1 going into Game 3 on Monday in Boston.

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